Bright’s disease is a serious health condition that affects the normal working of the kidneys.
It is dangerous and can even lead to kidney failure in extreme cases.
The name Bright’s disease is no longer used in the medical field, and it is now called nephritis or Glomerulonephritis (GN).
What Is Bright’s Disease?
The glomeruli suffer from inflammation, and this tiny structure of blood vessels in the kidneys will no longer be able to filter the blood properly.
In the same manner, this condition also affects the ability of the kidneys to remove excess fluids in a natural way, and this can lead to several health complications when timely treatment is not provided.
Symptoms of Bright’s disease
The symptoms of this condition depend on the severity of the condition, and you need to get in touch with your doctor immediately when you notice any of these symptoms.
The common symptoms of Acute GN include high blood pressure and buildup of fluid in the lungs that often causes coughing.
Apart from that, you may also see puffiness in the face, and the swelling can also extend to your legs in some cases. The urge to urinate will become less in this situation as the kidneys do not effectively remove the fluids.
In extreme cases, you may even notice blood in the urine.
When you are suffering from chronic GN, the symptoms may not be evident in some cases, and they may start appearing over a period of time.
You may notice blood in urine regularly, and your urine test may indicate abnormal levels of protein. High blood pressure is also a common symptom of this condition, and it can also cause swelling in the ankles and face.
You may have the urge to urinate frequently, especially during nighttime. Some people also complain about frequent bleeding in the nose.
Apart from that, you may also suffer from pain in the abdominal region when you are affected with chronic GN.
In the advanced stages of GN, your kidneys may fail completely, and this leads to a lack of appetite and fatigue. You may suffer from sleep disorders due to this condition.
As the body does not filter waste materials properly, it can cause frequent nausea and vomiting symptoms. Many people complain about dry skin and itchy skin when they are suffering from this condition.
You may also experience muscle cramps, and this can get exaggerated during night time.
Causes of Bright’s disease or GN
- You may develop acute GN due to an infection from an abscessed tooth. When the immune system reacts aggressively to the infection, it can lead to such conditions. However, in most cases, your immune system can return to normal after some time, and the symptoms will also go away without any treatment. If your symptoms persist, you can consult your doctor and get suitable treatment.
- It is better to avoid anti-inflammatory medication, as this can increase the risk associated with this condition. You should not use them for an extended period as they damage the kidneys in the long run.
- Chronic GN develops over a period of several years, and you may not even notice too many symptoms. The problem with this condition is that it can cause permanent kidney damage and even lead to complete kidney failure.
- Even though the exact cause of chronic GN is not clear, doctors associate this with hereditary conditions. Apart from that, other conditions like a history of cancer or having poor general immunity can also expose you to such conditions.
- In rare cases, exposure to certain hydrocarbon solvents can also lead to kidney failure in some people.
- The chances of developing chronic GN later in life increases a lot when you have acute GN.
Diagnosis of Bright’s disease or GN
- Your doctor will suggest a urine test when you go with any symptoms associated with kidney problems. The blood and protein levels in the urine sample will serve as important factors to identify the disease in the early stages.
- Apart from that, the concentration of the urine and its specific gravity will also give some idea about the severity of the problem.
- As the kidneys are responsible for the production of red blood cells in the body, the level of RBC in urine is tested, and this can give a clear indication about the capacity of the kidney.
- The level of creatinine clearance is also analyzed along with urine osmolality to determine the intensity of the problem.
- Apart from that, your doctor may even suggest a blood test to determine abnormal levels of albumin and blood urea nitrogen in the body. In the same manner, high levels of creatinine will also give some hints about the condition.
- The low levels of RBC often lead to anemia, and your doctor will watch these symptoms carefully during the tests.
- Finally, a CT scan and kidney ultrasound may be required to know the severity of the condition.
Treatment process for Bright’s disease or GN
Your doctor may begin to treat the condition by stabilizing the blood pressure problems. You may be prescribed blood pressure medication along with other medications to control the situation.
Even corticosteroids may be beneficial when the immune system is overreacting, and this is causing the condition.
When you are suffering from long term chronic GN, you have to make some lifestyle changes and reduce the amount of salt and protein in your diet.
Your doctor may even suggest you consult a dietician to plan your diet in the proper manner so that you get good nutrition without putting too much load on your kidneys.
You have to be careful with the acute GN as this can lead to chronic GN and cause kidney failure in extreme cases. In that situation, you have to depend on regular dialysis, and you may even have to go for a kidney transplant.
This is an expensive and also painful process. It is usually not possible to reverse the damage done by chronic GN. in this regard, pay attention to the symptoms and get timely treatment to avoid future complications.